Red Sister was one of my absolute favorite books from 2017, so it’s no surprise that I’ve been clamoring to read this one for what feels like an absolute age (a year just flies by, unless you’re thinking about the next book you want to read coming out, I guess!)
Well, it is finally time! XD
In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.
All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.
As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.
And in all this only one thing is certain.
There will be blood.
There is a purity in rage. It will burn out sorrow. For a time. It will burn out fear. Even cruelty and hatred will seek shelter, rage wants none of them, only to destroy. Rage is the gift our nature gives to us, shaped by untold years.
Oooh goodness, there are some good quotes in this book, just like it’s predecessor.
Anyhoo, Nona is still one of those characters that I just want to win, because she’s inherently likable, to me. There’s just something about her. I cheer for Nona, and I despair for her when things don’t go her way, so of course, this story kept me reading into the wee hours.
In this volume, she has moved up to Mystic Class, which is teaching her a lot about the magical thread weaving parts of her skillset while still concentrating on the fighting skills that she has become quite adept at. There’s still classmates that are the mean girls (there are always some), and there are classmates that she has become friends with. Her and her friends do various things with various levels of rule-breaking or bending. Nona has quite a few tricks up her sleeve.
There is the addition of a new sort of character in this volume, which was unexpected. His name is Keot, and he is… a mystery… (DUN DUN DUNNNN!) Keot and Nona have a very interesting relationship, which I’ve seen described as similar to the relationship between Fitz and Nighteyes in Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series, which I do agree with to a point… but to me, it instantly brought to mind the relationship between Mia and Mister Kindly from Nevernight (excepting of course that Mister Kindly is a shadow, and Nona has no shadow). Sort of symbiotic… sorta kinda.
Either way, I love love loved the dynamic of the relationship between them. I loved the addition of Keot as a character and that the addition was so unexpected. It added a level of interesting and mystery to a character I already find interesting. We see how Nona combats Keot whispering horrible ideas in her ear. We get a bit of an inner monologue, as it were.
Much like Red Sister, this one was really difficult to put down once I started, and is incredibly well written. It’s peppered full of really quotable deep thoughts, is full of all kinds of plot twists and turns. I was surprised numerous times, to the point where I audibly gasped (this barely ever happens guys). Best of all, it has characters that I either love to love or love to hate. Nothing like a character that you love to love going up against a character you love to hate, amirite? The last 1/4 of this book was quite simply unputdownable.
And at the same time as all these shenanigans between Nona and everyone else are going on, we continue to get little glimpses into the real story about this really unique world, the people called the Missing who once lived on it, and the falling moon that’s the only thing keeping the ice at bay.
Very awesome read. Definite 5/5 stars!
Now I can’t wait until book three!
*looks at watch*
Ahhh it’s going to feel like forever. XD
Lawrence’s deep quotes and beautiful prose have always impressed me. He’s a talented madman, isn’t he? I still need to read Red Sister, but then, this one after, for sure!
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I cannot wait to read this! Red Sister was one of my favourite books of 2017, and to see a comparison to Hobb’s Fitz & Nighteyes? Absolutely sold!